Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic and the lockdown, we have seen an alarming rise in mental health issues within our local communities. Although mental health is something that is affecting all people across the board, the stigma behind being 'a man', leaves a large number of males silent and unable to express their feelings, resulting in overwhelming numbers of untreated mental health issues and isolation.
Our mission at the Nottingham Community Artist Network is to enrich the local community through the support, development, and facilitation of artists. For this project, we have teamed up with Benjamin Zięć a folk singing and community artist, and Raphael Achache, and freelance Illustrator. Together with a guest feature from electronica artist Fang Jr. they have produced an audio track, illustrated video and booklet, and 2D prints titled ‘The Island’, a song written in response to a large number of friends and acquaintances experiencing mental health issues and in the saddest situations taking their own lives.
The Island is a story of support and hope, encouraging anyone tackling mental health issues to reach out and 'build a window within their minds', to not be silent, and to open up to their friends and family. The track and music video will be realised on music label Tangential Music and with support from Nottingham C.A.N, we have put together this crowdfunding campaign to push the project and raise money to pilot art therapy sessions that focus on offering young males aged 18-35 the opportunity to work with songwriters, storytellers, and illustrators to produce their own stories and illustrations.
Each participant that the funding will contribute towards will get the opportunity to work with a songwriter to explore storytelling and an illustrator to storyboard and construct their work. We feel this is a great outlet for people experiencing mental health issues to find a platform from which they can tell their stories and voice their experiences and problems without feeling the process is too invasive. Their work will then be pressed into booklets and prints (in the same manner as the original Island project), and they will finish the project with these stories as a physical product that they can then distribute to family and friends, highlighting their thoughts and struggle and strengthening their support networks.
Each pledge no matter how small will receive Prints, Story Booklets, and a Digital Download of the original works of ‘The Island’. They will also be updated with the progress of the workshop projects and receive copies of our participant's final work after the project draws to an end.
We believe now is such an important time to offer support networks for all people dealing with mental health issues. As now we are facing a second lockdown and there are so many people experiencing isolation, open your arms, ears, and heart to your friends, family, and neighbors. Let us raise awareness, stay connected, and offer support
If you know of anyone this project may support and help, please do contact Nottingham C.A.N at [email redacted], and thank you for the pledges.
#worldmentalhealthday #mentalhealth #letstalkmentalhealth #nottingham #community #support #storytelling #folkmusic #creativecommunity #theisland #nottscan #communityartistsforcommunityaction
- Ali Emm
- Andrew Gale
- Tania Walcott
- Will Robinson
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